Archive for the 'Outdoors' Category

August 29th – Marriage License, Kodiak Island and Afognak Island

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

First thing this morning we’ll go to the bureau of vital statistics in Anchorage and get our marriage license. We had to fax the application a week ago to take care of the waiting period. So today we’ll pay the fee, get our signatures notarized and get the license. We’ll then pack it away in a safe place and head to the airport.

At the airport we’ll catch a flight to Kodiak Island, and when we land there we’ll catch another flight – this time a float plane – to Afognak Island. Of course that second flight will depend on the weather. If it’s stormy or too foggy, we won’t be able to go to Afognak Island, and our plans will change considerably. At Afognak, we’ll be staying at a lodge where we’ll fish and work on some photography until Thursday evening. The owners of the lodge told us that EVERY visitor to the lodge so far has gotten their limit in fishing. Sure. Salmon, halibut, trout – don’t know what else. I’d like to get some great fish and have it shipped home. They’re set up to handle all that. I realize that after all the costs, it’ll be some of the most expensive fish we could have. But, nevertheless, it would taste so great.

RT and I have been eating a lot of fish lately – lots of salmon and Tilapia and Tuna. Less carbohydrates. So a trip to Alaska fit right in with our culinary tastes.

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Aug. 28th – On the way to Alaska

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Today we leave for our trip to Alaska.  We’ll fly to Chicago, have a layover for about an hour, and then fly to Anchorage.  There’s a four hour time difference.  So, although it’ll be around 7:00 p.m. when we land – it’ll be 11:00 our current time.  However, it will still be daylight there, and we’ll be psyched and will probably do a little exploring before settling down at the hotel for the night.  One of the places I wanted to be sure and visit is HUMPY’S in downtown Anchorage for halibut fish and chips – absolutely the best fish and chips I’ve ever had.


One thing I like about Alaska is the length of daylight in the summer.  When we were there in July last year, it never got truly dark.  It was daylight until around 1:00 a.m. when it got kinda twilight-y until it was day again.  It messes with your internal clock.  We never could get to bed at a decent hour because it still seemed like the middle of the day at 11:00 or midnight.

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Busy Times

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Sorry that I haven’t been posting much lately.  My life is a little hectic, to say the least.

(1)  School started two weeks ago, and I’m busting my booty at school.  Even though I don’t have my own class of students, I’m giving reading assessments to kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, helping organize reading buddies, keeping the leveled book room and professional reading room up to par for the teachers’ use, writing the newsletter, and working on a couple of volunteer programs. Plus, the past week I’ve been getting things ready for my almost two-week absence.

(2) RT and I are leaving on Monday for our 10-day trip to Alaska.  We both have been busy working out all the arrangements for that – flights (a total of TEN flights in all!), lodging, fishing guides, car rentals.  And we had to plan alternate arrangements for some of the flights inside Alaska since the weather is a major factor this time of year. Three days of our time there will be as part of a photography group at Denali.  So we’ve also been busy getting cameras and photos ready for the trip.

(3) RT and I are getting married a week from tomorrow (September 2) in Denali – on the Alaskan tundra within view of Mount McKinley, and I’ve been also busting my booty getting things ready for that – picking out rings, re-sizing rings, picking up re-sized rings, deciding I didn’t like the original ring I selected (it didn’t look right with the engagement ring) and taking it back and picking out another one.  Making the arrangements for the marriage license and ceremony has taken quite a bit of work, too.  It’s going to be a very informal wedding – we’ll wear hiking clothes (packing space is at a premium) and we’ll be the only ones there except for the commissioner and maybe a couple witnesses which I think are required by law.  No reception or music or anything else.  So you wouldn’t think it would take much planning.  And I guess it hasn’t taken that much time – just making sure everything is handled to get the out of state marriage license, and we have to write our own vows since we won’t be using a set religious ceremony.

(4) It has been amazing how the story of our engagement and wedding has caught so many people’s interest.  I’ve had lots of people tell me that when they heard about it, it brought tears to their eyes, and I guess our story IS quite unusual.  My mother tells me I should write a book about it.  I don’t think it is THAT unusual, though.  Our story is a testament to “true love conquers all” . . . or something like that.

We’ll be back in town on September 6th – and soon after that maybe I can get back to regular blogging. In the meantime, keep coming back, and leave a few comments.  I don’t want to lose all 7 of my regular readers.

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What are the chances?

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Tonight’s the first time RT has been out of town overnight in over a month.  And guess what else is happening for the first time in about that long.  Yes, it’s a thunderstorm.

I’m not a fan of storms, although I’m trying very hard to change my attitude.  I dated a guy a few years ago who loved them.  He wanted to sit on the porch and watch them.  I, on the other hand, tended to want to hide under the bed with my fingers in my ears.  At least I never acted on that want – but I thought about it.

So, here I sit – by myself in the house – with lightning flashing and thunder booming around me. 

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An Alaskan Wedding

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

So now RT and I are talking about getting married when we’re in Alaska August 28 – Sept. 6.  Just thinking of it.  Guess I need to do some research about that.  Like, do we need to get a license in Alaska?  Who would officiate at the wedding?  And I’m not sure I want to mix the wedding in with the trip.  RT said that the “new frontier” of Alaska would fit with the “new frontier” of our second wedding.

Wow!  I just did a search, and there are all kinds of sites about weddings in Alaska – Alaskan glacier weddings,  Alaskan garden weddings . . .


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My New Camera – First 4 Halfway Decent Photos

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

I got my new camera – A Nikon D50 – and I’ve taken a BUNCH of photos.  However, I realized a little late that I did not have it set for automatic focus, and so most of the pictures were so out of focus I deleted them.  Here are four that survived the delete button…barely.

This first picture is of a hen turkey with two chicks (rather large chicks) who were in our front yard yesterday morning.












This next photo is of a deer who was on the hill behind our house Tuesday morning.  There were actually two deer and several turkeys – but they were too far apart to get all of them in the same photo.


And here, friends and neighbors, is the bane of my existence – poison ivy.  I took this photo last night when I was standing by this tree helping RT as he worked on the engine of the tractor.  I was VERY careful not to touch any of it.




And this is the second photo from last night.  Two blooming flowers – the background is one of the tractor tires.

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Deep Sea Fishing Like It Was Meant To Be

Monday, July 24th, 2006

PawPaw and I went deep-sea fishing last week.  We were in Florida at a convention of one of PawPaw’s biggest clients.  Those folks know how to convene!  Our deep-sea fishing trip was on the owner’s private yacht with four other guests – three bedrooms, air-conditioned kitchen and sitting area, bathroom with shower.  There was a captain who used sonar to find the fish and a first mate who baited our hooks and took the fish off – and later they cleaned the fish and packaged them for us to take home. 

Just about every time we dropped our hook in the water, we caught a fish – lots of red snapper.  We had to wear those belts with the fishing rod holder in front.  I caught a HUGE king mackerel (huge for me anyway – about 30-35 inches long) – and a large bonita (bait fish).  It was so difficult to reel them in that I had to stop and rest several times during the process.  It was so much fun.  And when I tired of fishing, I napped in the air-conditioned sitting area and snacked on items from the fully stocked refrigerator.  Ahhhhhhh the good life….

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Listen carefully! That’s the sound of the beach calling…

Friday, July 14th, 2006

I hear the beach beckoning me, and in response I will be gone to Destin the next few days.  I’ll be back next Wednesday or Thursday (July 19 or 20), and I’ll resume posting them.  In the meantime, I’ll be sunning and walking along the beach and reading and relaxing.

I bought my new digital camera a little while ago, and one of my goals during this trip is to learn to use it and to take some good pictures.  Oops! I didn’t mean that!  There will be NO goals on this trip.  No agenda.  Nothing I HAVE to do.  So I’ll re-phrase.  One of my pastimes – if I feel like it – will be to learn to use the camera and take some good pictures.  I feel more relaxed already.

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The Natchez Trace Bike Ride and Deer

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

PawPaw and I went bike-riding on The Natchez Trace yesterday evening.  We saw lots of deer.  One was nibbling on some grass near the edge of the road, and we came within about 15 feet of it.  It just turned its head, perked up its ears and looked at us briefly – then resumed munching on the grass.  Very lovely.  I’ll take my camera next time we go.

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Bird Feeder Birds

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

This morning I was watching PawPaw’s bird feeder.  Within a few minutes there was a black-capped chickadee, a goldfinch, a red-winged blackbird, a purple finch, a tufted titmouse, a bluejay, and a small blue bird (I can NEVER think of it’s name – not a blue bird, but something else).  I love looking at bird feeders.  I didn’t take any photos, but I did take some of the waterfall behind his house and some flowers.  I’ll post some later this afternoon.  Now I’m headed off for errands — got to get my car inspected and get a new tag, and then create a brochure for my townhouse.

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